A new Haven awaits
Posted on Saturday March 6th, 2021 @ 2:48pm by Captain Nilani Azulas & Captain Shelby Adams & Lieutenant Commander Deila Fargold & Lieutenant Ziq Chura & Lieutenant Caspar Matero 'CJ' & Lieutenant Anjohl Gaden & Lieutenant JG Dadora Jecia & Ensign Ekal Dreisor & Lieutenant Javorian Travis
Episode 1: The Maelstrom Awaits
Timeline: Day 13 at 1630
Nogura had completed a slew of tests enroute to Deep Space Twelve, including a complete run through of the ships warp and propulsion systems, emerging relatively unscathed from them all. Sleek and streamlined by design, the Sovereign-class starship was now hurtling through space at her cruising velocity of warp eight, stars streaming by with effortless ease. On the bridge, Captain Azulas was taking the opportunity to get some light reading in whilst the ship journeyed to its destination. Most of the senior staff had been relieved for the mundane, mid portion of the journey, but she loved being in her command chair and feeling the vibration of the ship at warp.
It had been a few days since they had left Deep Space Five, and with the down time of travel, the Captain had granted the crew as much recreation time as she could allow, providing their time did not interfere with their duties.
Lieutenant Chura sat at his station and worked diligently. Training sessions had gone well with both security and tactical personnel. He planned to continue training sessions up until they entered the Maelstrom.
He looked up and saw the familiar site of the Trojan class Deep Space 12 on the main viewer. He had no plans to board the station but would of course do so if his duties needed him too.
The ship's medical crew had been busy as well. After a series of comprehensive tests to make sure their operational systems were operating at peak efficiency, the newly minted CMO had run them through a series of simulations some in the sickbay itself and some in the holodeck. The simulations in the holodeck were mostly, but not exclusively Away Team situations set on a variety of planetary types.
The staff had gotten a little tired of the repetition, but they had come to work together as a team and had bonded with each other. As they drew closer to their destination, the good doctor decided to pay a visit to the bridge.
As the doors hissed shut behind him, he stepped to the side so he would remain out of the way and could still observe what was going on.
As the Bajoran doctor stepped onto the bridge, Ekal tensed for half a second, then relaxed again. She had been getting restless in her room, where she'd started preparing pots for seeds from home. Her mom was sending them to DS12 via some orion traders.
At the science station, Lieutenant Travis was looking more than a little restless. For a few minutes he had been picking up something on sensors. At first, it was something he couldn't make out, but it was advancing, and at speed. Then the sensors confirmed his suspicion. "Captain..." he called out, looking across at the command area.
At first, the Captain didn't register her colleagues voice as she was deep in to her reading, but when he called out a second time, she finally looked across in silence.
"Ma'am," the Terran frowned, "sensors are picking up a massive displacement wave heading this way. We're reading over thirty starships heading this way at high warp."
That certainly piqued the Trill's curiosity. Reaching to the control panel on her chair, she opened a ship wide channel. "=/\=Senior staff to the bridge," was all she called before rising to her feet. "Transfer their coordinates and trajectory to the helm," she ordered.
Javorian nodded silently and did as requested.
"Ensign, adjust our course and speed to avoid them," the Trill requested of the Cardassian just a few steps in front of her.
"Acknowledged." Ekal initiated a simple course adjustment, her eyes flicking across her panel and up to the viewscreen, even though she knew she wouldn't see the ships there yet.
Within a matter of moments, the XO emerged from her ready room, where she had been engrossed in reports from recent systems test, and looked towards the Captain as she crossed the bridge.
Rising to her feet, the Captain jerked her head in the direction of the glass mission display behind the Tactical rail, and together they crossed the bridge, from both directions and converged on the display. "Fargold," the Captain called out as she walked, summoning the officers to her position as she came to a stop in front of the elegant, moving display.
Deila hurriedly got up and strode over to the tactical display. She looked closely at the tactical display, specifically at the collection of dots representing the ships traveling past them at high warp. This was definitely unusual and out of place.
"What the hell is a fleet of Federation starships doing out here?" the Captain pondered to the rest of the trio.
"Based on their signatures..." Fargold muttered, looking down to a PADD she'd brought over with her, which was connected to the Strat Ops console, "those ships are part of the Sixth Fleet, though there's nothing on subspace or even any official reports on why they're out this far."
"Perhaps the admiralty doesn't want us to know, in which case I'd prefer not to speculate." Ekal commented. While she said that, she plotted their trajectories to try and predict where they were heading next.
Reaching out with her hands and touching the interface on the screen, Nilani unintentionally ignored the Cardassian and was able to trace where the ships had come from. A single, blinking dot on the map. "They came from Deep Space 12..." she spoke quietly, looking between her two most senior officers.
Shelby had her arms crossed tight across her chest as she regarded the display in silence. Eventually, she shrugged. "Maybe they were shopping?" she smirked.
The turbolift doors hissed open and CJ strode silently onto the bridge. "Computer, transfer Engineering control to the Bridge," he said, almost automatically. He looked over to the CO and XO.
"They aren't taking their goods home." Ekal spoke even softer than she had previously, her posture suffering, "It might be best to ask the station staff."
"Couldn't we just ask them? I mean we are all on the same side right?" the doctor asked from the back of the room.
Both Shelby and the Captain slowly turned their heads to look at the Bajoran and then back at each other. "He has a point..." the XO remarked, shrugging her shoulders.
"In my experience, fleets this size in Federation space mean only one thing... trouble," the Captain frowned as she looked over the star chart once more, and at the moving mass of starships. "Lieutenant Chura," she called out, spinning on her heels and looking at the nearby Bolian, "hail the lead ship."
Deila looked over to Chura, then to the captain, then back to her PADD and the tactical display, trying to make sense of what she was seeing. No comm activity, no confirmations about the fleet's movements from headquarters...this was all spelling trouble. BIG trouble.
The Tactical Operations Chief nodded, before pressing several commands into his console. "Channel open, Captain."
Walking around the tactical rail and stopping in front of her command chair, the Trill stood and stared at the view screen. "=/\=USS Capitoline, this is Nogura. Please respond," she called out, addressing the empty viewer.
All the response that the lead ship offered was the telltale ping of a received message. The fleet, evidently, was operating incommunicado.
"Well, that's annoying..." Nilani frowned, looking towards Adams. "Chura, hail Deep Space Twelve. Let's see if we can get some answers shall we?" she ordered, finally resuming her seat at the heart of the command center.
Chura nodded as he began opening a channel to DS12 instead. "Channel open, Captain." Stated the burly Bolian.
Relieving her subordinate, Lieutenant (j.g.) Jecia slipped into her seat. It only took her a few moments get caught up with all that had transpired. Large fleet leaving DS12, and communications received and not returned. If anything was ominous, it was that. The announcement made by Lieutenant Chura earned the Halanan's attention. She glanced over towards the captain, wondering if their CO would have any better luck getting answers from the station since hailing the fleet had fallen flat.
"=/\=Deep Space Twelve, this is Nogura. Please respond," the Trill called out, her eyes focused on the screen at the front of the command center - waiting, hoping, for a response.
A Ferengi Lieutenant popped up on the screen. "=/\= This is Deep Space Twelve, how can we be of service, Nogura?"
"=/\=We're closing in on our arrival with supplies and personnel transfers," Captain Azulas retorted, smiling as much as she could at the Ferengi on her screen. "But, we've detected a large force of starships heading our way, seemingly from your direction. No one is answering our hails, so we were hoping you would be able to provide some answers?"
"=/\= That would be the Sixth Fleet, which has recently departed the station. I'm afraid that we don't know anything about their mission, other than it was important enough to require half the station's supplies". The last words had a touch of annoyance to them. "=/\= I could try putting you through to Captain Xerix, but she'd probably tell you the exact same thing."
"=/\=No need Lieutenant," Nilani frowned, "but I would like a meeting with the Captain upon our arrival. See if it can be arranged, if you will?" the Trill requested.
"=/\= I'll see what I can do, Captain...?"
For a split second, the Trill was about to correct the Ferengi and advise him she was an Admiral. Old habits die hard, it seemed. "=/\=Azulas. Nilani Azulas," she smiled sheepishly, spying the knowing smirk from the XO to her right. "Your help is appreciated Lieutenant. Nogura out." And just like that, the Ferengi disappeared and the comm channel was closed.
"Something doesn't feel right about that fleet heading our way." Chura commented as he began scanning it. "They seem to have a lot of big hitters in there." He added.
"Defiants...Akiras...even a Vesta . Wherever they're going, it looks like they're ready for one hell of a fight," Deila said, after having returned to her console.
"Maybe they didn't respond because they're busy preparing for such a fight." Ekal began maneuvers to get into position to dock with DS12.
"If there were such an engagement expected, Starfleet protocols would have every ship in the area standing by to respond," Azulas spoke up from the comfort of her chair, her years of experience at Starfleet Tactical coming to the fore. "Whatever the hell this is, it isn't standard operating procedures. And that worries me..." with that, she pushed herself up and out of her chair. "Lieutenant Chura," she spun on her heels to look at the Bolian, "get me Starfleet Command and put them through to my ready room. Number One, the bridge is yours. Oversee docking procedures and report to me when complete."
"Aye Captain, I have the bridge," the XO called out as she stood, nodding in confirmation to the Captain and watching as the Trill disappeared into her ready room.
"Now people," she called out to the bridge crew once the Captain was out of ear shot, "what you just saw right there does NOT bode well," she frowned, her eyes trained on the ready room door. "That woman is one of the most self-assured, confident and competent officers I have served with. With all of her experience, including the memories of several symbionts, when she feels a need to lock herself away and talk to Starfleet, we have a problem..." Adams slowly turned to look at the Strategic Operations Officer and her Tactical counterpart. "You get me every single iota of data you can about the makeup and composition of that fleet. I want to know classes, names, commanding officers, previous missions EVERYTHING. If there is even the slightest chance something major is going down and we may get drawn in by sheer virtue of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, I want to know who we are dealing with. They clearly aren't very talkative, so we'll find our own answers."
It seemed that there was hardly any room to misinterpret anything that Commander Adams had said. Still, Dadora agreed with everything the woman had said about the Captain. She hadn't known the captain long at all, but she certainly wasn't the sort of woman that you wanted to disappoint. "Aye, Commander," Dadora chimed as she proceeded to replay, catalog and condense the readings of the fleet that had just passed them by moments ago.
Deila nodded smartly at her orders from Commander Adams. "Already on it sir," she said, turning to face her console, and began drawing up the corresponding crew manifests for each ship they had passed. She'd find something, even if it was the smallest of somethings.
"What can I do?" the doctor asked. Anything up here, or am I just in the way? I'm sure you're right, something strange is going on. I can read people pretty well, and I have a feeling, they're covering up something."
Adams let out a sigh as she returned to the command chair at the heart of the bridge.
"I hope you are wrong Doctor... I really hope you're wrong..."